L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Garbage, debris choke nullah
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
With monsoons still a few days away, the municipal corporation here is already being accused of not cleaning the ganda nullah passing through the city.

Residents of the affected areas have complained that their colonies would get flooded during the rains if the drain was not cleaned and silt not removed.

They alleged that some residents had thrown debris and garbage into the drain that choked it. This, they say, would affect the flow of water during monsoons.

The residents rue that increasingly some eating joints have been disposing off their waste onto the road along side the nullah, which was gradually making its way into the drain.

“Our colonies get flooded many times. We have to suffer but the authorities do not listen.

The MC, despite making tall claims of cleaning drains, does not care,” said a resident.

The cleaning process of the drains poses another problem. The walls on the sides of the drain get damaged as a result of vigorous cleaning and bricks and other material fall into it. This further chokes the drain.



Residents go without water
MC fails to release money to sewerage board
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
In this sweltering heat, around 4,000 residents of LIG flats in Sector 32 are living without potable water thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of Municipal Corporation authorities, which are not releasing money to the Water Supply and Sewerage Board (WSSB) for installing a tube-well in the area to supply water.

Despite having given a number of representations during the last one year, nothing had been done so far. Though the MC had sanctioned the tube-well some months ago and the WSSB had even submitted an estimate, the payment has not been released so far.

Unless the MC pays up the money, the board would not install a tube-well and residents of around 1,000 apartments would have to do without water.

“There were two tube-wells for supplying water to our apartments. One of them failed last year as the water table declined. We somehow managed with low pressure during winters but in this weather nobody can think of living without water,” said Chamkaur Singh, a resident.

Area councillor Sardul Singh Grewal said that he had got the tube-well sanctioned from the MC five months ago. The WSSB had prepared the estimate, which was duly submitted. But when the MC, which collects water bills from the residents, does not care about them what could the board do,” said Grewal.

“I have been sending reminder after reminder to them. But they do not listen,” he added.

The residents complained that the matter had been highlighted by the media a month ago. At that time things seemed to move for some days. But again they came to a standstill.

“We get water in trickles. That too stinks and is yellowish in colour. It takes at least half an hour to fill a bucket. We go to work without taking bath. Many of us go to some relative’s house to get water,” said Chamkaur Singh.

The residents said that they would wait for a week and if the payment was not released they would be forced to agitate. “We will sit on a dharna outside the office of MC and raise slogans. Maybe then the authorities would do something.” 



PAU depts seek demerger
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, June 7
With the exit of Dr K S Aulakh as vice-chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University, an unofficial campaign has started at the campus for the demerger of the various departments, which were merged during the tenure of Dr Aulakh.

PAUTA, which supported the merger move earlier, is surprisingly now
supporting the demerger

Nearly dozen-odd departments were merged during the six-year tenure of Dr Aulakh as vice-chancellor. There was no opposition to it except when the departments of processing and agricultural engineering, college agricultural engineering, food nutrition department of the college of home science and food science technology department of college of agriculture were merged last year. There was an agitation by the students of the college of agricultural engineering and college of home science.

Dean college of home science Dr (Mrs) Dhillon, too, had sought voluntary retirement as a protest against the merger of the departments. Interestingly the PAU teachers association (PAUTA), which had supported the merger earlier, has now raised the demand for the demerger of the departments and submitted a memorandum to the new vice-chancellor in this regard.

The following departments were merged during the tenure of Dr Aulakh, chemistry and biochemistry, maths, stats and physics, zoology and fisheries. Fisheries has now shifted to the Guru Angad Dev veterinary and animal sciences university. Genetics, biotechnology and plant breeding were also merged. Besides, agri-metereology was merged in agronomy department and later forestry department was also merged in the same.

Extension education department of home science college was abolished and merged into department of extension education in the college of agriculture. Similarly sociology section was separated from department of economics and merged into department of human development for the home science college.

Lately department of floriculture and landscaping was also merged into the department of vegetable crops. However, separate section of floriculture and landscaping was retained in the department.

Department of business management was shifted from college of basic sciences to the college of agriculture.

Sources said here today the functionaries of the departments of processing and food engineering and food nutrition have submitted a request to the authorities for the demerger of their departments. Similarly floriculture department has also sought demerger and demanded independent status in order to develop floriculture, which has a big scope now for commercial production in Punjab.

The separation of the agrimeteorology has also been sought from the department of agronomy.

The vice-chancellor has reportedly constituted a committee consisting of the deans and directors of the university to meet the functionaries of those departments, which have sought demerger and submit the report to the vice-chancellor.

It may be mentioned here that the departments were merged as an economy measure and to check duplication of research and have better coordination in research activities.

The decision regarding the demerger of those departments, which have sought separation, would be taken after the return of vice-chancellor Kang from leave.

Before leaving, Dr Kang held review of the research programmes of various departments and is reported to have allotted work to individual scientists on various projects. 



Schools for child labourers need funds
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The National Child Labour Project (NCLP), a Central Government scheme, conceptualised and implemented during the tenure of National Democratic Alliance government, seems to be running into the rough weather with the schools running under this scheme in Ludhiana being starved for funds for last four months.

The NCLP is aimed at imparting education to the working children between the age of 14 and 18. There are about 20 primary schools (upto Class V) running under the scheme in Ludhiana with 50 students each. Under the scheme the children get a monthly scholarship of Rs 100 each besides a daily feed for Rs 5. This was aimed at helping those children, who had to work perforce, to get some education.

The schools are managed by various non-government organisations (NGOs). Each NGO has been given the responsibility of managing one school. The scheme is monitored by the labour department. The additional development commissioner is the ex-officio nodal officer responsible for distribution of grants.

The NGOs running the schools have been having meetings with officials for the release of grants. However, as the students have been dropping out of these schools, a rethink on running these schools is on.

Accordingly, the grants were either withheld or released after due scrutiny.

According to Surjit Singh, who manages an NCLP school in Model Town, the officials tend to believe as if all the NGOs running the schools were pocketing the money themselves. He said, a number of students from these schools have passed out and are now studying in higher classes like Class VI or VII.

Surjit Singh said, the 20 odd NGOs involved to run the project in a smooth manner in the city feel helpless as government was not taking proper initiative to make it a success. NGOs attached with the project feel that such projects were the need of the hour as huge number of children were working as labourers and they certainly got education from these schools.

The project was started in September 2001. Almost eight months back, a survey was conducted in city and it was found that 1000 more such children needed education. The survey was conducted by the assistant labour commissioner.

But till date, nothing has been done in the direction. "The officials have received the grant to open more schools but they are dilly-dallying for no reason", alleged one of the office-bearers of the project.



Sahnewal Encounter
3 get five-yr jail term 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 7
The much talked about encounter by the police about four years ago has ended with the conviction of three accused for five years’ imprisonment each. A fast track court has found them guilty of attempting to launch a murderous attack on the police party.

Convicts include Sukhbir Singh, Kashmir Singh, both belonging to Mohali and Amolak Singh of Thathe Haike village, Amritsar. One of the accused, Sukbir Singh, was also sentenced under Section 25 of the Arms Act for three years.

Delivering the verdict, R.L. Ahuja, judge, fast track court, held that the prosecution had successfully brought home the charges levelled against the accused, beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. So, they did not deserve any leniency. The court also ordered them to pay Rs 5000 each as fine for different offences.

They were booked under Sections 307, 353, 332, 186/34 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act at Sahnewal Police Station on March 18, 2003 following complaint of the then DSP, Industrial Area Ludhiana, Snehdeep Sharma, who is presently working here as SP, Headquarter, Ludhiana.

According to prosecution, following the directions of SSP Ludhiana, a team of police officials headed by DSP, Industrial Area, reached near the bridge drain on the G.T. Road leading from Sahnewal to Doraha.

Sukhbir Singh was seen handing over a bag containing heroin and fake currency to Amolak Singh. The police party tried to arrest them. But the accused started firing at police officials for escaping arrest. During cross-firing, one bullet grazed the head of Parminder, gunman of DSP Snehdeep Sharma, who was later medically examined at the civil hospital. However, Kashmir Singh managed to escape during the encounter.

The police had claimed to have recovered two packets of heroin and fake currency notes of the denomination of Rs 500 each, amounting to Rs 20,000. Later, Kashmir Sigh was arrested and fake currency worth Rs 36,000 was recovered. A separate case under the NDPS was registered against the accused. However, the additional sessions judge, B.S. Sodhi had already sentenced the accused to 10 years’ imprisonment each, in the case, on September 6, 2005.

It may be recalled that the then SSP Ludhiana, Harpeet Sidhu, was awarded ‘President Award’ for handling these cases successfully.

However, the accused had pleaded innocence. They had submitted that due to enmity with Kamaljit Singh, SP, Vigilance, they were booked falsely. 



Intoxicants seized from Pindi Street
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 7
A team of drug enforcement officials seized intoxicating drugs from a godown in Pindi Street, the biggest wholesale market of medicines in the region, here today.

According to district drugs inspector Sanjeev Garg, the premises were rented to a chemist, who was reportedly maintaining the godown to keep stock of intoxicating drugs in violation of the drugs Act.

The seized drugs included 4.95 lakh tablets of different formulations, 6,000 injections and 480 bottles of cough syrup. The team also inspected three chemist shops in the market from where 7,000 capsules and 1,000 tablets were seized. 



Milk Union Election
SAD’s ‘black sheep’ back into fold
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The election of Ajmer Singh Bhagpur as the chairman of the Ludhiana Milk Union against the official Shriomani Akali Dal-Badal candidate has led to fresh realignment within the party. Although the party had issued a show-cause notice to Bhagpur for using Congress support to get elected, it did not take any further action against him.

Bhagpur is the brother of party MP and president of the Youth Akali Dal, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. Dhillon was present at the meeting of the party which decided to issue show-cause notice to him. He had supported the party move asking him as to what made him seek the support of the directors, ho had affiliations with Congress to become the chairman of the union.

In fact, Bhagpur had rebelled against the party's decision to field Raghubir Singh Saharanmajra, who was enjoying the support of Jagdish Singh Garcha. But he managed to get elected after garnering support of the Congress supporting directors.

He is reported to have argued that he had only sought the support of the Congress directors and had not supported them. He has reportedly told the party leadership that he continued to be a loyal Akali worker irrespective of receiving support from the Congress. He is said to have claimed that whatever he did was in party interest only.

Although Dhillon had at that time supported the idea of action against him, it is learnt his proximity to Sukhbir Badal saved his brother from any further action. Moreover, Bhagpur is believed to have managed the support of some other senior party leaders including the minister for jails and tourism, Hira Singh Gabria and the party general secretary and former minister, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal. Interestingly, these two leaders had not been informed about the meeting where show-cause notice was issued to Bhagpur.

This has led to further factionalism within the SAD in Ludhiana. Different factions of leaders have already started pulling in different directions. With Bhagpur practically rebelling against the Garchas, he has found supporters among their rivals.

Interestingly, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, who was considered closer to the Garchas than anybody else in Ludhiana continues to enjoy a good equation with Garchas despite his subtle nod to his brother’s garnering support from the Congress to become the chairman of the milk union.



Cong raps govt over atta-dal issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (rural), today criticised the Akali-BJP government for its failure to provide subsidised atta and dal to the people.

The party pointed out that the alliance had got votes on this issue but backed out after coming to power.

The meeting was presided over the DCC, Ludhiana (rural), president, Bhalinder Singh, and attended, among others, by MLAs Harmohinder Singh and Jassi Khangura from Raikote and Kila Raipur, respectively.

The meeting observed that the government had failed the expectations of the people.

It said other than going for the vendetta the state government had not done anything for the common man.

The Congress leaders also criticised the government for its failure to provide power to the people particularly in the rural areas.

The party decided to organise regular protests against the failures of the government. 



CPM alleges corruption in govt offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mela Singh Rorka and Dehati Mazdoor Sabha leader Dev Philaur today alleged that there was widespread corruption prevailing in various government departments. The leaders alleged that bribes were fixed for various jobs and the officials demanded them as a matter of right. They said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal should remember his promise of providing a corruption-free administration.



City Centre Scam
Chetan’s remand extended
Ashwajit’s plea on going abroad denied
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 7
Special Judge Gurbir Singh today dismissed the application filed by managing director of Infrastructure Professionals Enterprises Ltd Ashwajit Singh, seeking permission to go abroad.

Dismissing the application, the Judge observed that it would not be fit to grant him the permission to leave India. His presence may be needed by the Vigilance Bureau during the ongoing investigation. It may be recalled that Ashwajit Singh had sought permission to go abroad from June 7 to 17.

He had submitted in his application that his IPE company was shortlisted for an Asian Development Bank-funded project in the Republic of Palau. He had also mentioned his need to visit Manila for discussing the project with officials of the Asian Development Bank.

During the course of arguments yesterday, Special Public Prosecutors, Mitter Sain Goyal (District Attorney) and M L Solanki had opposed the plea.

Meanwhile, Judicial Magistrate Kuldeep Singh today extended the judicial remand of Chetan Gupta, one of the accused in city centre scam, till June 21. He was produced before the court, as the period of his judicial remand expired today. His bail application would come up for hearing before the Special Judge Gurbir Singh on June 9. 



Search engine launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
A search engine, aflatoon.com, was launched in the city today. The site offers access to database for Punjab and also links to other Indian websites.

“A unique feature of the site is that it allows visitors to search for any local information by categorising the query into company or name, or pin code. It offers listings for business concerns as well. All these services can also be accessed via SMS or search on phones and the data could be downloaded,” said Parveen Sharma of 10paisa.com, at the launch function.

Sharma added that the search engine also offers video, radio, free SMS services and a visiting card album to its users. 



Soni is executive officer of LIT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 7
Subash Chander Soni joined as executive officer of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) yesterday. He was earlier posted at Nawanshahar as executive officer.

After joining his office, Soni, while interacting with mediapersons, said he was emotionally attached with the LIT as his first posting was in this office only. He said he would serve the people of this city and would streamline the office working with the help of his seniors and staff in his office. 



2 held with illicit liqour
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 7
In two separate incidents, two persons have been arrested for possessing illicit liquor. Amritpal Singh of Sudhar was arrested from his village and 11330 ml of illicit liquor was recovered from him while Lachhman Singh of Bhoodan was arrested from Latala village and 15000 ml of illicit liquor was recovered from him. Cases under Excise Act have been registered.

3 booked for fraud

Malkit Singh of Sherewal, Dimpi of Faridkot and Suresh Artiya of Gidderwindi were booked on the charges of fraud. Sources say that Malkit Singh allegedly married Dimpi without disclosing that he was already married to Anaro Bai of Sherewal. A case of bigamy has been registered under Section 494, 506, 120-B of the IPC on the complaint of Anaro Bai. The accused Malkit Singh and Dimpi have been arrested while Suresh is still absconding.

2 held with poppy husk

In two separate incidents, two persons have been arrested for possessing poppy husk. Raju of Sehzad was arrested by from Jodhan village and 5.200 kg of poppy husk was recovered from him while Bur Singh of Bhani Gujjran was arrested from Sheikhdaulat with 9.200 kg of poppy husk. Cases under NDPS Act have been registered.

9 booked for assault

In two separate incidents, nine persons have been booked on charges of assault. Chappar Singh, Harnek Singh, Jeet Singh, Darshan Singh, Neela Singh, Swaran Singh and Pali Singh, all of Burj Hari Singh, allegedly entered the house of Jasvir Singh of their village and assaulted him with sharp edged weapons and a baseball bat. A case under Sections 452, 323, 324, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC has been registered. The injured have been admitted to civil hospital, Raikot. Some old enmity is said to be the reason behind the attack. Meanwhile, Gurmail Singh and Amrinder Singh Pala of Kalsian allegedly assaulted Jeet Singh of their village with sticks. A case under Sections 324, 34 of the IPC has been registered. Jeet Singh and Karamjit Kaur have been admitted to civil hospital, Raikot. A dispute over tube-well water is said to be reason behind tye attack. No arrest has been made so far.

3 injured

Daljit Singh, Manjit Kaur, Jasvir Kaur all of Chakar were injured near their village when the Hero Honda motorcycle they were travelling by, was hit by a speeding car being driven by Hira Singh of their village. The local police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337, 338, 427 of the IPC on the complaint of Daljit Singh. The injured have been admitted to local civil hospital. No arrest has been made so far.



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